Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vanska is easing his deadline for a restart of rehearsals as part of the drive to end the orchestra's lockout of musicians, and by extension, his threat to resign.
In a letter in May, Vanska set a Sept. 9 deadline for a start of rehearsals for both a recording session for a new disc and to prepare for November concerts at Carnegie Hall. Calling on management and musicians to resolve the ongoing contract dispute, Vanska said if the orchestra was not prepared for the Carnegie concerts he would be forced to resign.
The recording session has now been postponed until the spring, and in a written statement presented to a Minnesota Orchestra Board meeting, Vanska said rehearsals need to begin in the week of Sept. 30 for the Carnegie shows.
Orchestra President and CEO Michael Henson says that, for logistical reasons, this means there needs to be an agreement with musicians by Sept. 15.
"And then, the practicality of how that operates, I think that's a conversation that we are trying to have in order to expedite this process as effectively as possible," Henson said after the board meeting," he said.
Orchestra musicians, who have been locked out since Oct. 1, responded that if management had accepted mediator George Mitchell's proposal for playing and talking at the same time, the musicians would be back at work the next week.
"The mediator's proposal would have secured the tenure of Maestro Vanska as well as the Carnegie sessions, and so we urge management to reconsider and accept the mediators proposal," musicians' spokesman Blois Olson said.